Posted tagged ‘thunderstorms’

“Sounds are three-dimensional, just like images. They come at you from every direction.”

June 23, 2015

Mother Nature is being deceptive. The morning is lovely with sun glinting through the leafy boughs of the trees I can see right outside my window. Patches of blue sky spread across the sky. The breeze is just right. Mother Nature, though, is toying with us. This afternoon and evening we’ll have thunder storms. The night will be chilly and damp.

Even as a kid I was never afraid of thunder or lightning. The louder and more dramatic the storm, the more I liked it. I remember how the house shook when thunder boomed right overhead. The jagged bolts of lightning brightened the sky. I remember clapping for the best in show.

My childhood was filled with sounds, and I have a few favorites. Roller-skates created wonderfully different sounds depending on the surfaces where I roller skated. In the street my wheels rolling on the sand made a grating sound, a harsh sound, and small pebbles were cause for a less than smooth ride. Tar was the best surface on which to skate. The sound was gentle, almost a humming, and the ride was smooth. The sidewalk had small inclines leading to the gutter and the street. We used to roll down those inclines which gave us the momentum to keep going without any effort, but it was tar to street which took a bit of skill. The peepers at the swamp at night made the best sounds. I used to imagine aliens were landing because that was what the song of the peepers sounded like to me. It was a strange whistling, like the sound a ship might make moving swiftly through the air. Grasshoppers sang in the field below my house, and when we walked through the field, the sound got louder almost as if in alarm. The grasshoppers would jump in front of us sometimes three or four at a time. Theirs was a pretty song.

I remember the sounds of kids playing in the backyards all over the neighborhood. I remember the sound of my mother’s voice when she yelled out the back door. Sometimes it was a warning to stay away from the lines of drying laundry while other times it was an invitation to come inside for dinner. In my neighborhood fathers never yelled out the back door. That was always the job for mothers.

“Through the blackest night, morning gently tiptoes, feeling its way to dawn.”

August 10, 2010

The many cold cokes I drank last night were cause for me to get up at 3:30, just in time to hear and see the start of the thunderstorm. I remembered my car windows were open and raced outside to close them. By then, of course, the rain had begun in earnest, and I got quite wet. Once inside I had to stay up a while so I wouldn’t miss the thunder and lightning. I so love a good storm.

The day is humid, no different than the previous days, but a cold front is coming later in the week. One night is predicted to be in the high 50’s. I can hardly wait to be cold.

I love the early mornings, especially when I’m away. I remember the trip my mother and I took to Pennsylvania. I woke up about dawn and, while my mother was still sleeping, I made my way to Gettysburg National Park. We had toured the park the day before, but I got to be there all by myself  just as the gates opened. Ground fog drifted slowly across the battlefields giving them a surreal look. I drove ever so slowly through the park imagining the sounds of the battles and the groaning of the wounded. It felt like a holy place, a shrine. That quiet ride is my favorite memory from that trip.

In Santa Fe, on a trip with my sisters, I woke up early, quietly left the room and made my way to the square. I bought coffee and a roll and sat and watched the Indians set up their wares for the day on the porch of the Governor’s Palace. They spread out colorful blankets and carefully placed their jewelry, art and handmade goods. The rest of the square was quiet. I was the only spectator to the start of that day in Santa Fe.

In Ghana, the mornings started early as the air was coolest just before the sun rose. Market ladies walked on the dirt path between the rows of millet on their way to town and carried their wares on their heads. I could hear them talking and laughing. Smoke rose in the air from morning fires in the family compounds, and I could smell the wood burning. I’d sit on my porch with my cup of coffee and watch the day unfold a piece at a time.

I always think the early mornings are a gift whether I’m in another place or on the deck with the papers and coffee.